Seattle Jewish Montessori Program
Seattle Jewish Montessori (SJM) is proud to provide your children an outstanding Jewish education using the Montessori methodology in a safe, nurturing environment.
Children at SJM interact within the prepared classroom environment working at their own developmental learning pace, while adhering to principles of grace, courtesy, and respect for each other and learning materials. Both individual and group learning experiences are emphasized within each classroom using Montessori materials.
Children at SJM are exposed to Hebrew and English Language, Chagim, Parsha in addition to Math, Botany and Geography. These rich layered strands of curriculum build progressively as a student advances through the Montessori educational levels.
The self-esteem, self-confidence, and inner direction of children who receive an early childhood Montessori education serve students into their elementary school years. It is the intent of SJM to build a solid personal and academic foundation in each child propelling them into a bright future full of personal satisfaction, feelings of self-fulfillment and success in social encounters, and confidence in areas of challenge.
The MMSC staff are dedicated and loving individuals from a broad range of educational and professional backgrounds. The main objective is to prepare and organize the learning environment to meet the needs and interests of the children as well as promote independence.
They follow the child’s interest and guide them to experiment and learn new things daily.
A classroom community
Our classrooms are made up of mixed ages.
We have our tiny tots room for children between 14 - 18 months old, our toddler room for children 18 months - 3 years old (the child needs to be 18 months starting August 31st) and our Preschool classroom for children ages 3-6 years old.
In a multi age setting, the children learn from each other, and they learn because of each other. Younger children get a chance to look ahead and see what is coming next by watching the older children. Older children have the opportunity to reinforce their knowledge by sharing it with their younger friends.
“There is a great sense of community within the Montessori classroom, where children of differing ages work together in an atmosphere of cooperation rather than competitiveness. There is respect for the environment and for the individuals within it, which comes through experience of freedom within the community.”
The Montessori program allows children to learn and thrive by performing skill-building activities of their choosing in a warm and joyful environment.
Children may choose activities from a broad range of areas, including:
These activities are further complemented during group circle time and activities.
As the child builds success upon success with small tasks, he/she is able to go on to greater ones, mastering his/her small environment.
Throughout all parts of the day children are taught to see everything through the lens of Hashem’s world, a world created by G-d, Who pays attention to each plant, bug and person in it. This deepens their sense of Judaism and gives them excitement for all of creation!
We look forward to welcoming you at a tour of our school soon!
Practical Life is the “practical living” area of a Montessori classroom. The materials are delicate and encourage gentleness to their environment. Life skills such as concentration, coordination, order and independence are all the driving force behind this area of the classroom. Children pouring water from one vessel to another, sewing a button, polishing a kiddish cup, lacing a shofar all take place in this very pristine part of the classroom. These fundamental skills transfer into the other areas of the Montessori room and it is always delightful to see children engaged in this area.
“The goal of early childhood education should be to activate the child's own natural desire to learn.” - Maria Montessori
Math and Science
Sensorial works are at the heart of the Montessori curriculum. They provide the building base through teaching a child through their senses. Sensorial works help a child isolate particular qualities in the materials such as size, sound, color, smell, and shape. These works indirectly develop language skills, muscle coordination, a mathematical mind, and control of movement. Once a child has mastered these concrete works, he/she can move on to abstract concepts at his own pace.
In Montessori math, the children are introduced to the concrete sensorial impressions of numbers, the decimal system and its functions, addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division. Using manipulative materials, the child explores these concepts physically, creating a basis for more abstract operations.
Geography is the study of the earth including its people, resources, climate and physical features. Teaching Geography aids the child in developing a clear sense of spatial orientation. By giving sensorial impressions of the earth and showing children their relationship to it, Montessori lessons help develop a foundation of global awareness.
Exploring the subject of Botany helps a child develop an appreciation for and an understanding of the life cycle and the beauty of Hashem's creatures. Through specific Botany works, the child develops a greater knowledge and understanding of the virtue of patience as the child is exposed to nature's seasonal changes and the growth cycle.
"It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." ~~ Albert Einstein
English and Hebrew Language
Hebrew Language - Aleph Bet
Children as young as 2 begin learning the letters, then vowels and the blending of two or more sounds in the Hebrew Language.
Our Hebrew letters are taught with a deep sensitivity and love to the holiness of the language and is much enjoyed by the many works that are available to the students based on their level of knowledge and fluency.
Montessori children typically do not remember learning to read English as the environment is designed so that all experiences feed naturally toward the development of skills required for reading. Reading, writing, spelling, and grammar are introduced to the child in an organized phonetic method allowing the child to acquire reading skills without realizing the effort.
Torah and Holiday Themes
The weekly Torah portions are taught in an experiential and exciting way so that the children begin to appreciate our rich history. Taking on roles of our Torah giants work in tandem to create an environment that is rich is Jewish experiences.
Throughout the year the children will learn about the holidays that make up the Jewish calendar. Each holiday is enhanced with beautiful arts and crafts that the children bring home to share with the family. Circle time is only one way we engage the child with the holiday. Each area of the classroom is permeated with the upcoming holiday. The prepared environment becomes another teacher with Judaic materials enriching the child’s whole experience.
Courtesy and Grace
Montessori introduced Exercises in Grace and Courtesy in reaction to the young child’s need for order. The child has a need to know and to absorb the social structures in order to be more at ease in his environment. Grace and Courtesy lessons give the child the vocabulary, actions, and steps required for him to build his awareness and responsiveness of those around him. This in turn gives the child a better sense of orientation in his social structure.
Every day students are welcome to bring in notes that has written a good deed or a good behavior that they did. They are excited to share it with thier friends and be wonderful examples to their peers.
Are you a bucket filler?
Based on the heartwarming book, “Have you filled your bucket today” The children are encouraged to work on positive behavior by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show children how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation and love by "filling buckets."
Each child has their very own bucket in the classroom that reminds and encourages them to make good choices throughout the day.
"Happy is the man whose deeds are greater than his learning." ~~ Midrash
Portraiture is a great way for the young child to explore the concept of self. This monthly opportunity can help students to learn about what people look like, how different people are alike and different. The ongoing process is re-markable as children begin to see differently and draw with more detail and refinement.
Kids in the kitchen is a fun, creative way for our students to experiment with different recipes and learn about nutrition.
Art from the heart is a monthly program where the children experiment different art techniques while learning to appreciate popular paintings.
For Jewish holidays, we host a variety of activities that bring additional elements of the holiday to life:
Shofar Factory - learning how shofars are made
Matzah Baking - participating in matzah baking
Olive Oil Demonstration - making olive oil using real olive presses
Chanukah Plays - students create and direct their own plays, complete with costumes and props
"Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach. " ~~ Albert Einstein
PJ Library Music Circles with Morah Betsy is a highlight that the students look forward to before every Jewish holiday.
Reading buddies is a nationwide practice that allows older children to read to younger children. Everyone benefits from this multi-age experience.
Field Trips to the park, as well as the nearby Boys and Girls club offer the children opportunities for connection and play.
“We are the sowers - our children are those who reap. We labor so that future generations will be better and nobler than we are.”